Get to do rafting, zipline, spelunking, swimming and so much more in less than 1,000 pesos check this blog MINALUNGAO NATIONAL PARK, NUEVA ECIJA : DIY TRAVEL GUIDE FOR A DAY FOR ONLY PHP 1,000
This could have been one of my cheapest adventure expense to date! And this was made possible at Minalungao National Park in Nueva Ecija, Philippines.
I was never a traveller who saves too much just for the sake of saving, but rather I make sure that I maximize each trip that I plan and do. In Minalungao I was amazed how it manages to remain affordable, fruitful and enjoyable all at the same time without sacrificing my comfort and saving too much on food and activities. A day trip would be enough for this however, you may opt to spend a night or two near the area as well if you wanted to feel chill and relaxed after a busy activity.
Minalungao National Park a protected area of the Philippines located in the municipality of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon. A trip that could easily be visited via bus and tricycle from Manila of almost 3 hours.
In this blog, I’ll be sharing with you my day full of activities, and expenses, guide and notes and to even influence you to try and come visit this wonderful place. Take note that this trip is plain DIY (Do-it-yourself) and no travel agency was involved, expenses was also based on my visit.
HOW TO GO TO MINALUNGAO NATIONAL PARK FROM MANILA?
- Ride a bus bound to Gapan / Cabanatuan thru ES Terminal at Cubao
- Travel time is 2 hours (depending on traffic) for P200 pesos per way
- Alight at Gapan (*landmark – Puregold)
- From Gapan, ride a tricycle going straight to Minalungao National Park
- Travel time is 1 hour and 15 minutes
- There are so many tricycles in Gapan that could lead you straight to Gapan (there is no standard rate, but the cheapest we got was P600 for 4 pax for 2 way already)
- The booked tricycle will take you straight to Minalungao and fetch you at a certain time you prefer. (*decide right away until what time you’ll be staying as there is no cellular signal at the park, tricycles who pass thru Minalungao were also reserved already ahead of time
Here’s our tricycle contact – 09757033575 *other services will rate you from P500 – P800 pesos.
HOW TO GO BACK FROM MINALUNGAO NATIONAL PARK TO MANILA?
- Same tricycle ride back to Gapan (you have to agree with your driver as to what time he would come back to the National Park — do note that there is no cellular signal in the area)
- In front of 7-11 there were buses bound to Cubao and Monumento (*buses were everywhere, you won’t feel scared not being able to back home even late night)
- Bus Fare : Php 200.00
WHAT TO DO IN MINALUNGAO NATIONAL PARK?
A day full of activities is enough to enjoy this park.
Entrance Fee of P100 pesos per pax to enter the park. There is also charges for comfort room usage for P10 pesos per pax per usage.
- Rafting – Php 500.00 pesos for entire day (*max of 8 pax to share)
- The first thing you need to do is secure a place to stay, a raft is available for renting.
- This includes the Life Vest rental already (*since there are very strict with no life vest no swimming policy)
- *water current in Minalungao is pretty fast, you might drown yourself even you knew how to swim
- In the raft, you’ll be place at the center to enjoy the entirety of the view, you get to spend your lunch over the raft as well
- Sun Bathing and prefer to relax the entire afternoon? It is also possible
- This serves as your cottage (*there were also nipa hut available inside Minalungao that you could rent — but rafting sounds pretty more exciting!!!)
- Swimming / Cliff Diving
- Swim all you can while you stay. Cliff Diving was also widely known in Minalungao but be sure to do it safely and always ask the guide the perfect spot for it.
- Spelunking – *payment depends on your own tip as a group. As you enter Minalungao there are people who could assist you and give you a guide for the entire day stay.
- We gave Php 200 pesos to our guide at that time
Spelunking in Minalungao went beyond my expectation, it was closely similar with my Sagada experience (*hahah!) but in a different way.
Also Read : Sagada Trip – 2D | 1N – with Spelunking Activity
It was not as easy as 1,2,3 and it was risky (*like the rest of the caves) but it was beautiful and such an experience not to try too!
We had our caving for almost 2 hours but it depends with your company on how adventurous you are and how quick the entire trail could be.
This was worth the try especially if you wanted to experience it!!
- Zipline – Php 100.00 pesos / person 1 way *Php 150.00 for 2-way
- The zipline would take you to the other side of the park, it was less than a minute ride but just for Php 100.0 pesos? why not right? you get to see the full view of the park.
- Hanging Bridge
- Before going to the Zipline area, you need to walk all the way to the Hanging Bridge (*if you are afraid of heights, this might hurt a bit) but you’ll get to see the entire park from this view.
OTHER NOTES IN MINALUNGAO :
- 1,000 Steps Hike to Giant Cross
this was part of our tour from our tour guide. You get to hike for 1000 steps all the way up for the giant cross. A serene sight could also be seen in the area. Best time to do it is as soon as you get your feet in Minalungao. So you’ll still have enough energy.
- For the food, there are restaurants and food stalls around the area. Cost was not too expensive and is pretty much affordable for a tourist destination.
and the best part of it? You get to eat your lunch in a raft.
Bring mineral water with you, or you may opt to bring your own food as well if you wish to save more.
- Comfort Rooms in Minalungao is paid area, for PHP 10 per use. It was clean enough to take a shower after the activity
- The last time we get here was on a Weekday, as of the guides — influx of tourist visit this on a weekends (*expect more on holidays)
- No signal at all in the area!
- Staying in the area might be available until 5 – 6pm only. It gets scarier due to the water current.
- As a whole, this trip was one of my favorite!! As I get to spend less without compromising anything! It was such a fun filled trip and I was so happy with everything!!!
Here’s my actual itinerary and budget expense during my trip :
Expense wise, I get to spend less than a thousand given all of the activities mentioned. There was souvenir shop inside the park as well. It was really worth it for a day.
Hope you get to enjoy it as much as I do! Share me your thoughts by commenting below. Let me know your most inexpensive travel trip as well?
*All photos are originally taken by the blogger @nathaliecsalcedo